For those of us looking to wean this country off of reliance on electric power due, in part, to the environmentally dubious nature and expense of obtaining the rare earth elements and lithium central to "green" technology, this doesn't appear to be good news.
The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.
The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.
Back in the day, we were told that the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan because they coveted a warm water port (which would've entailed the small matter of invading Pakistan as well in order to access Karachi). Then, post 9-11, we were told it was a matter of quelling a nascent radical jihadist movement. Now... did the Soviet know something we didn't?
Opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, hides and pelts, gems
Their main exports list is just about to get a whole lot sexier.
Reaction from the Left, here. Interesting timing by the Pentagon. Well, at least they're being consistent.